beer column

CBC On the Coast Beer column August 16, 2016

Now that the really hot weather is finally upon us, you might want to spend some time at the two new Tap Shack locations, because they have great beer... and patios!  The Daniel Group, who brought us Tap and Barrel with their three fabulous patios, carry on the group’s “local” mantra by using reclaimed and repurposed locally sourced building materials in the bars, local ingredients in the food, local beer and wine on the taplists and featuring works from local artists.  Check them out under Burrard Bridge at 1012 Beach Avenue and in Coal Harbour at 1199 West Cordova.

On August 20th Persephone Brewing in Gibsons will hold its Beer Farm Fest!  To celebrate their third anniversary they’re throwing a fundraising beer festival from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.  Kids are welcome, but your cars are not, so take a shuttle!  There will be live music, as well as live streaming of the Tragically Hip concert on the big screen, a pig roast, farm games and activities and a pop-up farm gate market.  Tickets are $40 for adults.  It’s free for folks under 19, unless they plan to eat.  Dinner tickets for the under 19 set are $15 for a full meal, and $8 for a half.  Following on the heels of their Tough Kegger race, there will be 12 taps of beer on offer, including those from the competitors in the Tough Kegger race – but fortunately not any actual beer that was run around town!

Also on August 20th Red Truck will be hosting a patio party at the brewery (295 East 1st Avenue) as part of Vancouver Mural Festival.  The all ages event will feature music, and a beer garden for those 19+ from 2-10 p.m., and you can watch as murals are being painted on the brewery’s grain silos.  No cover charge.

Beginning on August 20th and running until September 5th you can enjoy the Vancouver Craft Beer Week beer garden at the PNE.  2:00 - 8:00 p.m. daily in the Italian Gardens.  You can purchase tickets in advance to avoid the line-up, or be spontaneous and grab them on-site.

On August 21st Strange Fellows Brewing will be making merry at Joy Fest.  From noon until 11:00 p.m. you can join in on the joyous celebration of the end of summer with music, food and of course, beer!  No cover charge, kids welcome.

August 27th there will be a CAMRA cask festival at Central City Beatty – From 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. you can sample sessionable ales – beers under 5% alcohol by volume – from 10 breweries.  Tickets include 3 tasters and they’re $20.  If you’re a CAMRA or VanBrewers member, you get in for $15.

And tickets – get your tickets!  There are still tickets available for the Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria on September 9 and 10.  You can get those online through, and I suggest you do!  I am quite fond of this festival – not only is it a great opportunity to try beer from all over the Province without having to travel any further than Victoria, it is also a handy excuse to head to Victoria for the weekend and visit all the breweries and taprooms there.  The festival runs on the Friday evening and Saturday during the day, so even if you attend on both days, you’ve still got all of Sunday left open for beer exploration around Victoria.

Tickets for the BC Beer Awards are on sale as of today!  The awards and tasting festival will be held on October 15th at the Croatian Cultural Centre from 4-9:00 p.m..  Get your early bird tickets for $32 on the website.  The awards ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Quinn again this year!

And if you're interested in watching a little comedy about the brewing world, check out Brewstars on StoryHive.  A listener, Gwilyn, sent me a lovely email about enjoying the craft beer segment here on CBC, and saying that their friend made a short comedy about life in a brewery that they thought I would enjoy.  And she was right!  I watched Brewstars, which was filmed locally at Dogwood Brewery, and was very well amused.  The project will find out tomorrow (August 17) if they received enough votes to get funding to turn the pilot into a web-series.  My fingers are crossed for them.

Beer to Taste:

It is a sour – I just can’t get enough of them!  This is the Parallel 49 Flanders Red and it is the first beer  aged in their foeder. 

For those not familiar with what a foeder is, it is an oak vessel – they vary in size from regular barrel-sized to enormous barrel sized - used for aging beer.  Because wood is porous it allows some oxygen to get into the beer, and bacteria living in the wood to infect the beer, which is where those funky and sour flavours come from.  Normally you wouldn't want oxygen to get into your beer, but for sour beers, it is fully part of the process.

Some yeasts can also be added to the brew at different stages to encourage the souring, like brettanomyces, lactobacillus and pediococcus.  The oak vessel also imparts oak notes to the beers aged within it, and traces of whatever was aged in it previously.  The foeder used for this beer we’re drinking had Cabernet Sauvignon in it previously, so there are definitely notes of red wine in the beer.

The beer aged for six months in the foeder.  You are likely noticing the vinegar character in the beer.  This is due to the acetic acid present.  This is an off-flavour in most beers, but it is a desired and purposeful flavour component in Flanders Reds and Oud Bruins.

650 ml bottles available at the tasting room and select liquor stores.

Beer Picks:

Let’s celebrate the hot weather with fruity, refreshing beers:

Steamworks YVR India Session Ale is light on the alcohol at 4.4%, and on the bitterness at 40ibus, but heavy on the citrus aroma!  Not quite as fruity tasting as it smells, you’ll still get notes of pineapple and citrus from those lovely New Zealand Galaxy, Orbit and Nelson Sauvin hops, through a lighter body and dry finish.  Available in six packs of 330 ml bottles.

Nothing says summer like biting in to a sun-warmed raspberry!  So how about a Raspberry beer?  Here are a few different styles to choose from, but each and every one of them is very, very raspberry!

If you’re in the mood for a hefeweizen, Raven’s Brewing has a raspberry hefe made with local Abbotsford berries, available in 650ml bombers.  5%

Postmark Brewing has a boldy fruity session ale made with tart raspberry puree available in six packs of 355 ml cans and 650ml bombers. 4.7%

Hearthstone Brewery has a Wyld Raspberry Berliner weisse that’s tart and so full of flavour that you’ll never notice that it’s a mere 3.2%  Available in six packs of 355ml cans.  It also comes in peach and lychee flavours!


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